This week we are bidding a loyal family member adieu and wanted to send him off with some encouragement- Brett Whorley has been a consistent member of the 5am class for months now and has made so many improvements in every aspect of his fitness, especially his “mechanics” which has led to constant PR’s in his strength and improved efficiency in his workouts! Like so many of our hardworking members, Brett has a tough job and works long hours. He is living away from his wife while he travels for work and has plenty of reasons to avoid the gym, but he makes no excuses. Before most people are out of bed, he has already put in the work and fueled himself well. He’s a great teammate and has been a pleasure to coach. Brett is pictured above, smiling as he finishes the first mile of Murph back in May of this year. He is always positive and coachable, and despite the very early workouts is focused on steady improvement. We can’t wait to hear how he progresses with his new CF Family! Months of hard work after joining, he has taken some huge strides in that direction. Here’s some info on our friend, Brett, and some great advice!
What was it like starting out?
I started CrossFit a year and a half ago after not seeing much results with the standard weights in the gym. I was a runner for most of my life, but realized that I needed to add weightlifting after seeing a chiropractor. Spending so much time wrapped in 40 pounds of gear sitting sideways in the back of the aircraft wasn’t doing well on my back. I needed to keep better posture and strengthen my back. In 2013, I tried CrossFit for the first time living overseas in Bahrain. I had a friend who was into it, but I got motivated after reading Rich Froning’s story in a fitness magazine (we are both from Tennessee – I thought that was cool, but my wife calls me a fanboy). Doing the movements is one thing, but doing them correctly is another! Once I moved back stateside to Norfolk in 2013, Crossfit Hampton Roads really helped me out with form and correct movement for safe lifting.
I’ve moved a lot in the past two years, and soon after starting I moved again to PAX River. I joined CrossFit PAX and started attending the 0500 class – in getting it done first thing I feel better throughout the day. Coach Jon and Kyle have been great learning from!
What has changed in your life since starting?
I feel sluggish on days without doing a WOD or some kind of strength element. I found CrossFit to be an excellent stress reliever as well. It also feels good to try and keep up with 18 year old sailors doing runs and pull-ups, at least I can keep it competitive. I don’t want to be that guy people always wonder about making weight standards or how I pass the physical fitness test?! I think it’s also important to set the tone and culture as a leader in my squadron by setting the example as much as I can.
How has your diet changed? what does your diet look like? what foods do you rely on most?
I definitely focus less on carbs and “cleaner” foods. I do many crockpot recipes with chicken or beef and lots of vegetables. I recently have switched to the Silk almond/coconut blend to drink and mix some protein. I like the bulletproof coffee, but I don’t have the patience to make it – I like McDonalds coffee (black, none of that fufu stuff with sugar!) Anyway, I also rely on sweet potatoes for daily carb intake… Well, that and ice cream and those little Christmas tree cakes when my will power fails!
What have you accomplished?
I think I have been as consistent as possible with travel for work and moving 3.5 times in a calendar year. While my body weight is heavier now and I have outgrown some clothes, it’s toning and muscle I didn’t have before. My wife says I have grown shoulder boobs, ha! I just tried to improve my fitness and have fun with the different skill sets: double unders, oly lifts, HSPU, etc.
What are you most proud of accomplishing?
The fact I can take the knowledge I have learned with me wherever I travel and understand what I need to do for an effective workout – including mobility work. At least I don’t look like I totally am clueless touching a barbell anymore! I think my proudest moment was a few weeks ago when I cleaned and jerked more than my body weight for the first time.
What is your advice for the new folks?
Don’t get discouraged. Consistency in all the movements and skills will help your progression, however, this happens usually after months, not a few days! I definitely was caught up a little in the beginning about how fast I did a WOD, rather than focusing on good form and function to set a solid foundation. As your body adjusts, that 2 inches lower on the squat or having your elbows in for push-ups will feel normal. Then, when you do a WOD and your form suffers some you will be better off. I would also say diet is at least half the battle if you are trying to improve fitness – quality of your fuel matters!
Brett, thanks for being a part of the family and being coachable, consistent, and a great guy to have around! We are excited to keep up with your progress as you move away and continue your journey! It is awesome to know that there are people like you who are dedicated to leading their fellow service members through taking care of their body through nutrition and fitness. Unfortunately, that isn’t easy in a fast food world. You had to take a stand and fight to stay healthy and we are glad that we could be a part of that process and help you in meeting your goals. The 5am crew will miss you, so be sure to keep us in the loop!